Motivation

  • In an effort to make its General Assembly greener, the EGU has implemented several initiatives over the years. Many new ones were planned for the physical conference in 2020. However, the main source of CO2 emissions has always been attendee travel to Vienna. From 2021, virtual participation in the General Assembly will be enabled, giving participants the choice to attend either physically – with EGU offsetting their carbon footprint – or virtually from home. This innovative solution will expand the opportunities for establishing interaction and scientific exchange.
  • The EGU has fostered improving the accessibility and the inclusiveness of its General Assembly. Many initiatives were planned for the physical conference in 2020. When EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online took place we noticed that the virtual part of a conference can be both very accessible and very inclusive, therefore strengthening diversity, which is an essential ingredient for scientific progress. The virtual discussions, in particular the chats, proved much more inclusive than more traditional formats of feedback, with respect to gender, career stage, or native language. From 2021, virtual participation in the General Assembly can also help in this respect.
  • The EGU strongly promotes the equal importance of all scientific presentations at its General Assemblies, independent of format; please see EGU's statement on scientific presentations at the EGU General Assembly. EGU makes no distinction regarding the standing, quality or prestige of oral, poster, or PICO presentations. EGU2020: Sharing Geoscience Online had the great advantage that all presentations in scientific sessions had the same format and all authors had the same opportunities for spotlighting their research. The EGU2020 format turned out to be a very successful way of presenting new results. The community has enjoyed outstanding virtual presentations. From 2021, the virtual part of the EGU General Assembly must foster the advantage of equal presentation formats.
  • The EGU in-person General Assemblies have always had the strength of networking: the community met in person, discussions were fostered, dedicated networking breaks were implemented, and many receptions allowed a casual exchange between participants from all around the world. Personal contacts are reduced in virtual meetings. From 2021, the EGU General Assembly is meant to provide again an on-site experience for those attending physically, while at the same time developing new concepts to include virtual attendees as much as possible.
  • Conclusion: the EGU General Assembly 2021 will be a conference with a virtual component where everybody is welcome, in person or online! The structure of the conference will be flexible, giving us the opportunity to easily adapt to the uncertain global context.

Disciplinary, inter- and transdisciplinary sessions

  • All scientific sessions offer the possibility to upload presentation materials during a 2-months period starting 1 month prior to the General Assembly. Besides presentation materials (*.pdf, *.ppt/pptx, *.pps/ppsx, *.png, or *.mp4 file), authors can additionally provide a DOI or URL linking to a presentation they pre-recorded and submitted to portals like YouTube. During this 2-month period, uploaded files are accessible for registered conference attendees. If authors opt for the open-access Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY), their presentation materials subsequently become openly accessible to everyone through EGUsphere.
  • For all uploaded presentation materials, authors can opt to allow comments. The community can then comment on presentations during a 2-month period starting 1 month prior to the General Assembly. As for the uploaded files, commenting is only accessible for registered conference attendees during this period.
  • Regarding the session formats during the General Assembly week, conveners can request at session proposal to have (a) purely physical sessions or (b) hybrid sessions.
  • Physical sessions can be organized in the classical oral/poster mixture with oral presentations in a lecture room accompanied by poster sessions in the poster halls with physical posters set up at numbered poster boards. These physical sessions will not provide any live streaming.
  • The new EGU hybrid session format (Virtual PICO) will be a further development of the well-established PICO concept, which will offer the opportunity to address a truly worldwide and diverse audience. The 2-minute presentations will be hosted on an online platform so that virtual attendees can fully participate. The individual discussions with the authors afterwards will be accommodated both physically in Vienna as well as through an online chat.

Union-wide sessions

  • Union symposia will take place in lecture rooms inside the conference centre. These sessions will be live streamed so that virtual attendees can follow. Questions can be asked online and the speakers will answer on site.
  • Great debates will take place in lecture rooms inside the conference centre. These sessions will be live streamed so that virtual attendees can follow. Questions can be asked online and the panellists will answer on site.
  • Short courses will be mainly organized in lecture rooms inside the conference centre. We aim to have some short courses pre-recorded and run virtually.
  • Townhall meetings will take place in lecture rooms inside the conference centre. These sessions will be live streamed so that virtual attendees can follow. Questions can be asked online and the speakers will answer on site.